If you ask any type of artist, they will tell you that the finished product is never exactly what they envisioned when they started creating. They will tell you that you can’t force anything, that you will completely ruin the art if you do. Creativity is not just making something from nothing, but being flexible enough to adapt your plans to unforeseen problems that arise. Sometimes the greatest works of art are created when things take an unexpected twist.
It’s all about listening.
Artists are known for telling their stories through their canvasses, whether oil, marble, or metal, but lesser known for listening to their blank pages before they even lift a pen. Kevin would tell you that the metal will tell him what to do. If he is fighting with the material to do something that it doesn’t want to do, he’ll take a step back to reevaluate and let the metal speak for itself.
There’s a certain amount of giving up of control in creating art. You can’t always do what you want; it doesn’t always fit with what the work of art was meant to be. And most of the time, what is meant to be is greater than what the artist first imagined anyway.
Creating art requires a kind of humility and courage to be able to let go of set plans and be open to what can be. And beautiful things come about when true collaboration takes place. Perhaps Kevin’s stainless steel sculpture Joining Forces best exhibits this perfect partnership between the artist and his art.
The viewer’s eye is first drawn to the center point of this sculpture, a star shaped piece
touching the base. Two streams of waving steel connect with the middle piece on opposite ends. Though the sculpture could be interpreted as a shooting star with two tails, I think it shows the great explosion of light and creativity that occurs when two people or things join forces and use their energies toward the same goal, when one person gives way to another for the sake of a better union. Or, when an artist gives up his dream and instead listens to and works with his art, creating something greater than just the sheet of metal by itself or the idea in his head.
– Sarah Ampleman
“Joining Forces” 17 inch stainless steel sculpture